Time Flies

NewsBaby is 17 weeks old today. That’s 119 days since she was born. I can not believe it’s been that long and yet I can’t imagine what life was without her.

Over the last four months I have started many blog posts, but never found the time to fully write them out and share them. So much has happened I’ve become overwhelmed with how to share it here. I’ve started posts entitled “Sleep…What’s that?”; “Feel like a Woman”; “Torn”; “Reflux”; “The 1st 100 Days”; and “Mommy Boot Camp”.

But the one that seems to cover the most ground was one titled “What No One Tells You.” Because I’ve found over the last 119 days that there is so much no one tells prospective Mommies and Daddies.

Everyone will tell you while you are pregnant how little sleep you will get when baby comes home. I even had people tell me how little sleep I’ll get for “the next 18 years” and for the rest of my life. But no one tells you how the word “exhaustion” doesn’t even come close to covering it in those first few months and that after several days of not sleeping you start to lose yourself a bit.

Everyone will tell you that your life will be forever changed. But no one tells you about the strain it can put on your marriage and every other relationship in your life…if you let it.

Everyone will tell you how much you will love your baby. You will love that baby more than you EVER thought you could love anyone. But no one tells you how there are times when you will not only resent that baby, but question why you wanted her in the first place. And no one tells you how overwhelming that guilt can feel.

Everyone will tell you how you will worry about your child for the rest of your life. But no one tells you how helpless you will feel when you can’t make her feel better when she’s hurting. Or how frustrating it is when you can’t figure out exactly what it is that is wrong so you can fix it.

Everyone will tell you that you will have to make very difficult decisions that will decide the course of your child’s life. And everyone from your friends…to your parents…to your in laws…will have (and share) an opinion on what the correct decisions will be for your baby. But no one tells you that you will have to choose between a nap and a shower some days. I never thought that I would have to choose between having a clean house and being clean myself\.

Everyone will warn you about Postpartum Depression. And as someone who’s struggled with depression for 14 years (probably longer…but I was diagnosed 14 years ago) I was, am, hyper-aware of it. But no one tells you that maybe…just maybe your hormones are SO out of whack that you will cry for no reason even after the “baby blues” go away.

Everyone will tell you how amazing it is to be a parent. Everyone will tell you how hard it is to be a parent. But no one tells you how devastatingly lonely it can be at times.

I’m not going to lie. The last four months have been difficult to say the least. They have also been amazing, rewarding, frustrating, exhausting, exhilarating and inspiring. And while I wouldn’t change a moment that I’ve had with NewsBaby (except for that screaming that happened in the middle of the night…all night…before we knew she had reflux) I would have liked to know some of those things that no one tells you, so I wouldn’t have been so blindsided. So instead…I’ll share it with you.

How Do You Feel?

This is by far the question most asked of me right now.

The answer? I feel good. Really. I do. Honest.

No one (except NewsBoy and my mother) seems to believe me though. My brother and my father being the worst offenders. Every time they ask how I’m feeling there is a note of panic in their voices. I supposed that they could just be nervous for me (Dad especially) …but it just makes me anxious to hear the panic in their voices. I understand my brother’s expectations are that I should be miserable because my SIL had a “horrible” pregnancy. Everything about it hurt or ached or was “amazingly” uncomfortable and just pretty much sucked. (Once she started having Braxton-Hicks contractions they barely slept because he had to time every one.) But my SIL’s never had more than a pap smear so…I kinda took everything she said with a grain…or bucket…of salt.

It’s almost like everyone thinks that I should be complaining or be really nervous and anxious. But other than the heat, which I can avoid, I can’t complain. The “morning” sickness I had in the first trimester was difficult to deal with because of how sick I felt. But honestly, the OHSS l I had following my first IVF was way worse then anything this pregnancy has thrown at me. And I can’t imagine giving birth hurts much more than the 2 miscarriages I had (they were kinda brutal)…especially since I plan on being drugged. But other than the “morning” sickness I’ve loved every moment of being pregnant. Yes, I’ve had anxiety about the health of this pregnancy and fears about horrible things happening… but after everything NewsBoy and I have been through to get here, can you blame me for being overly cautious in those early months? Yes, there have been moments of panic…but they come when I follow or listen to someone’s advice that goes against my gut instincts. The majority of my friends who are mothers are much more tightly wound then I am…and well my SIL doesn’t do anything that isn’t on my nephew’s schedule. (They’ve even decided they aren’t traveling further than half an hour from their house because it messes up the baby’s schedule, so I’m pretty convinced that they aren’t going to come visit me in the hospital when the time comes.)

I got an email from a friend yesterday. She said “I know the anticipation the last couple of weeks takes on a whole new meaning. Please let me know if you have ANY questions or want to talk about anything!” This is one of those friends who got pregnant without issue. (I have A LOT of those.) She told her husband that it was time to have a baby and was pregnant almost immediately. She did this twice. Honestly I’m not sure what to make of her “whole new meaning” statement. I’ve been anticipating this child’s arrival for two and a half years, probably longer. I’m not sure why these last few weeks give that anticipation new meaning. Am I excited? Absolutely. I can not wait to meet my little Humphrey and hold s/he in my arms. But it is no more intense then it was over two years ago when I started this journey. It is no more intense now then it was last July when I had my second miscarriage (In fact it was more intense then.) So I’m not sure what new meaning my anticipation should be taking on just because I’m closer to the finish line.

I recently saw my “Uncle” (he’s in quotes cause he’s my parents best friend and not technically my Uncle). This man is one of my favorite people on the planet. We were talking and he stopped mid sentence to say “You know what? You just look content and happy, like you are at peace with everything. That’s something I haven’t seen on you in years.” And he’s right. 100%. Over all I feel calmer then I ever have in my life. And maybe that is why I’m not anxious (unless I’m lead there) or dying from the anticipation. I’ve been wanting, waiting and mentally preparing for this very thing for years. At this point I have waited years…what’s another couple of weeks?

What’s in a Name?

We still don’t have an outside name for Humphrey. We keep circling around the same two names, but honestly I don’t love either of them. And while I’m sure we will end up using one of those two names, I will never love them. Other than Sam (which is completely and totally off the table – in fact thanks to Dad’s meddling I’m not sure I even want to name my child after anyone) all the names I really like are either people in our lives or NewsBoy doesn’t like them.

So since I’m not sure what we will name this child, I thought I’d ask you…what are your favorite boy and girl names?

Subway Etiquette

In general when on the subway I stand. Or rather I did before I got pregnant. Sure if I’ll sit if there’s a seat or if it’s a long ride. But the vast majority of the time I will stand. And honestly most of the time now I still stand.

Now, while it isn’t a rule, general subway etiquette says that you get up and give your seat to someone who is injured or pregnant. I have never seen anyone (but myself, friends I’m with or NewsBoy) actually do this.

So imagine my shock when not once but twice this week I was offered a seat by a stranger! One went as far as to yell at a young kid who was about to sit in the seat she had just vacated for me.

I thanked her profusely but said that I had been sitting all day and would be getting off at the next stop so I didn’t want the seat.

Don’t believe everything you read folks…there are kind New Yorkers.

It’s All Good

This morning I went for my monthly OB appointment. I’m 22 weeks and 3 days today. In true NewsGirl fashion, I overslept. The alarm blared for a good fifteen minutes before I heard it. When I finally did hear it I leapt (yes leapt) from my bed and got showered, pretty and dressed in record time. I ran downstairs grabbed my stuff and got in the car.

Somehow I got to the doctor’s office twenty minutes early! For the first time since I started going to this office, I waited for under five minutes before being called in by the nurse. Shocking!

The appointment was uneventful. All is well. The baby’s heart rate was good, even though my Monkey* was moving so much it took a while to get an accurate reading. The doctor smiled as she told me how active the baby was but otherwise she seemed terribly bored with me. We talked about the various questions I had and I was sent on my way with the traditional “see you in a month” good-bye.

I made my next appointment and rushed to get home so I could catch the earlier train into the city. No dice…I would have missed it. (This is mainly because I’m unable to walk as fast as I once could.) So I ate breakfast at home and used my new coffee pot for the first time! My in laws gave me a new coffee pot (to match my new kitchen) for Christmas. At that point coffee was making me sick. So I avoided it for a long time. At my sister in law’s baby shower the smell of coffee was suddenly marvelous. So I tried some…it was as wonderful as I remembered! Lately on the way into work I’ve been picking up a cup as well. (Since I haven’t learned how to use the new coffee pot’s auto brew function yet!) But I spent some time with my new coffee pot this morning. We got acquainted. And the coffee pot rewarded me with an amazing cup of coffee.

So all in all it was a good morning.

While I was eating I IM’d with NewsBoy and filled him in on my visit and how our Monkey is doing. He finally said to me “Say it with me, everything is great.” I couldn’t. Still can’t do that. Part of me is still preparing for the other shoe to drop and something to be wrong. I think I just need to accept that I will feel this way until I am holding this baby in my arms. I’ve just been through too much to feel any other way.

And you know what? That’s okay.

*I’m going to need to come up with another nickname for the baby, as I’ve learned that Tori Spelling refers to her child as Monkey…and I can’t have that. But until I do come up with a new nickname I will continue to use Monkey.

Maternity Clothes Shopping

So I bit the bullet and accepted that less and less of my tops are fitting. Also I was down to two pairs of jeans. I had to do it. I had to go buy maternity clothes. At least a few items so I could wear something other than sweatpants every once in a while. My Mom offered to go with me to get me “a few things”.

It was a good thing she went with me. I’d have chickened out otherwise. We met at Destination Maternity. I arrived a few minutes before she did. I couldn’t even bring myself to get out of the car! I was terrified. Now I know full well that is not logical. They are just clothes. They can’t hurt me. But what would have happened if I bought those clothes and then everything went to shit? Could I deal with that? I was about to turn on the car and go home as fast as I could when my Mom pulled up. Yea that’s right…I was scared to go shopping.

I did get out of the car and we got some nice things.

(In a side note…did you know maternity clothes come with instructions on how to put them on!? This blew my mind. Check this out!
)

But what this trip taught me is that I may never be rid of the fears that something will go wrong and my body will fail me. It’s just not going away. I’m 19 weeks today and every single ache or cramp sends a tiny wave of panic through me and a dash to the bathroom to make sure I’m not bleeding. The doctor assured me last week that everything is fine, even if I’m not showing yet. Everything if normal. Part of me still doesn’t believe it. But there is part of me that does…so I guess that’s something, right?

For the most part I’m able to put on a happy and excited face for the rest of the world so that no one knows of my panic. Even if the rest of the world tends to annoy me more than not lately. As soon as you tell most people (but ESPECIALLY those with young children) that you are pregnant they start to lecture you on everything. And I’m talking everything from doctors visits and tests to the benefits of breast feeding vs formula to which products you MUST buy. I’ve been told all about which stroller I should register for…which tests I really should have…that I should be sleeping with extra pillows even if they make it so NewsBoy can’t fit in the bed…and what diapers I should use.

It’s amazing how many experts there are out there, and they all have an opinion on everything. Someone asked me if we were going to find out the sex. When I said that yes we will know but haven’t decided if we’ll share it with the world at large. She responded with “Oh that’s too bad. It’s one of the few surprises that life gives us, it would be such a shame to ruin that.” And I get that way of thinking but, where does this person get off telling me what I should be doing? I even had one friend tell me that I really needed to get moving and register already, because my shower will be here before I know it. I found this one really amusing because my Mom and I will be planning my shower so I know exactly when and where it will be. (I feel strongly that you do not surprise pregnant women…and in general I’m not a fan of surprises.)

It is all very overwhelming to begin with…but when you add in the constant and varying opinions of the people in my life…I feel like my head is spinning a bit.

But I suppose the bottom line is…things are moving along. And that’s all I can ask for right now.

The Future

I wanted to take a moment to talk to you about the future of this blog.

I’ve been thinking a lot (hence the lack of posts) over the past two weeks about what I should do. Do I keep posting here? Do I start a new blog? Do I disappear from cyberspace altogether? That last one isn’t an option, as I’ve found I really enjoy blogging.

I’ve read plenty of blogs where there are angry posts saying that once a blogger is fortunate enough to find herself pregnant or is a parent that they should close up shop and either stop posting or start an entirely new blog. Even before I found myself pregnant, I didn’t think that was exactly fair.

I mean, I’ve spoken about things that aren’t related to infertility on this blog. But I think the main reason I disagree with posts like that is simply, my infertility has helped to shape me into the woman I am today. And when I say that I mean that my infertility has shaped me in ways I think I may never understand. It broke me. It pushed me to places I never thought I’d see again, places I wasn’t sure I would survive. It brought me closer to NewsBoy and made us stronger. It made me stronger then I ever thought I could be. It is part of who I am.

And even though I am now pregnant I think it’s important to keep talking about what happens when you are somehow pregnant and infertile. I do think that pregnancy after battling infertility is different then if you are fortunate enough to be able to do things “the old fashioned way”. Infertility takes so much from us and leaves us with fears and insecurities that I’m not sure ever actually go away. (I’m sure this is something I will come back to time and time again.)

Once I came to that realization…my decision was made. I will continue to post here throughout my pregnancy and beyond. If reading about my pregnancy is too hard for you or hurts you, I am truly sorry. I do completely understand if you stop visiting me here. I will miss you and wish you nothing but the best.